[ Music ]
>> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, Senior Editor for Digital Audio and MP3 and today we're taking a First Look at the Cowon S9 portable media player. This is a touch screen device meant to compete with the iPod Touch and pricing the same ball park at around $199 for 8GB and $239 for 16GB. For the money, you're getting audio and video playback, a voice recorder, FM radio, FM recording, photo viewer, Flash media playback, a text viewer and Bluetooth audio. Like all Cowon products, the S9 delivers above average support for a variety of file formats, such as FLAC and DivX. You also get Cowon standout audio quality and an almost overwhelming amount of options for EQ and tweaking the sound. But the big deal here is that the S9 uses a very cool screen. This is a capacitive touch screen very similar to the iPhone, but it goes one better by offering a gorgeous OLED display instead of the more conventional LCD. Now, the screen doesn't get very bright, but the color and contrast are outstanding. The S9 also offers a phenomenal rated battery life of about 55 hours of audio playback and 11 hours of video. Of course, once you crank up the screen brightness and turn on the EQ settings and start streaming over Bluetooth, those numbers aren't gonna mean as much, but we're glad to see that it's possible. Now, head to head with the iPod Touch, the S9 doesn't offer the Wi-Fi, e-mail, Web browsing, movie rentals, Internet radio streaming or direct music downloads that the iPod Touch can. And even though Cowon has released an SDK for developing apps for the S9, there's just no catching up to the momentum of Apple at this point. That said I'm sure the S9 will find a niche of devout users who will appreciate the awesome sound quality and the OLED screen technology. I'm Donald Bell and that was a First Look at the Cowon S9.
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